Orthopedic Injuries and the Failure to Diagnose DVT and Pulmonary Embolisms
Orthopedic injuries are often inevitable when individuals suffer a fall or an accident. However, some of the common complications of these injuries are preventable. Failure to diagnose secondary health issues, like DVT, can have serious repercussions.
What Is an Orthopedic Injury?
An orthopedic injury affects the musculoskeletal system. These injuries are typically the result of an accident or trauma to the body.
Common orthopedic injuries include:
Orthopedic injuries are treated depending on the location, type of injury, and severity of the injury. Non-surgical options and rehabilitation may be an option, but surgery may be necessary for more serious injuries.
DVT and Pulmonary Embolisms
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins within the body. DVT typically occurs most in the veins of the lower body, including the legs and the thighs, but it could also form in the arms. When it is not treated, DVT can cause a pulmonary embolism.
A pulmonary embolism is a potential complication of DVT. The blood clot that forms in one of the deep veins in the body can travel to the lungs. This blocks blood flow, causing several symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest pain, and fainting. Pulmonary embolisms can be life-threatening if not treated properly and promptly.
The Connection Between Orthopedic Injury and DVT
While an orthopedic injury and DVT may not seem to have much in common, unfortunately, victims of these injuries are at higher risk of developing DVT.
Victims of orthopedic injuries, especially those affecting the lower body, like the hips, legs, or knees, are more likely to develop DVT. This is especially true if treatment entails surgery. Generally, when orthopedic injury victims suffer from DVT, it’s either because of hypercoagulation, slowed blood flow, or damage to the veins.
Additionally, lack of movement can contribute to the formation of DVT. When an individual suffers an orthopedic injury, their recovery may require rest and little movement.
Failure to Diagnose DVT in Orthopedic Injury Patients
Medical providers owe their patients several duties, including the duty to treat and warn of potential complications. Even so, many medical professionals fall short and fail their patients, causing them more harm.
When treating your orthopedic injury, your doctor must look for signs of health complications like DVT. The symptoms of DVT include throbbing, swelling, and warm skin in the area. Doctors should recognize the signs of DVT in order to treat it right away.
Also, your medical provider should warn you of the dangers of remaining sedentary throughout your recovery. Patients are often unaware of the risk of developing DVT from lack of sufficient movement.
Failure to properly diagnose and treat DVT can lead to further complications, like a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism can result in serious, life-threatening issues, including cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and even death.
Getting Help From a Qualified Medical Malpractice Attorney
If a failure to diagnose DVT has caused you injury or you’ve lost a loved one as a result, a medical malpractice attorney can assist you. Do not wait to consult with an experienced lawyer to begin working on your case right away.